CD Reviews

Review: Fall Out Boy ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’

January 25th, 2015 3:30pm EST
Review: Fall Out Boy Keep The Hits Coming On ‘American Beauty/Am
Every new Fall Out Boy album is “kind of a big deal” – yep. Face it – the boys who are now men have hit it big with hits like “Sugar We’re Going Down,” “This Ain’t A Scene,” and “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark” just to name a few. And why shouldn’t their sixth studio album be highly anticipated? Led by surefire hit “Centuries” and sporting some of their fiercest artwork yet, American Beauty/American Psycho just screams, “listen to me!” Well maybe not literally, but those who partake of album ‘numero seis’ won’t be disappointed.

American Beauty/American Psycho opens with an “I...

Review: Mark Ronson Delivers Vibrant Funk On 'Uptown Special'

January 19th, 2015 3:20pm EST
Review: Mark Ronson Delivers Vibrant Funk On 'Uptown Special'
“They tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no!” If you’ve ever heard those immortal lyrics from Amy Winehouse Grammy-winning “Rehab,” then you’ve heard the awe inspiring work of Mark Ronson. Ronson gained notoriety for producing Winehouse’s Back To Black album, one of the more important releases of the 00s. Though his work with Winehouse really brought Ronson to the forefront, he’s released a couple of albums himself. His latest, the infectious, soul-driven Uptown Special marks his first in five-years (Record Collection dropping in 2010) and is led by killer funked-up Bruno Ma...

Music Review: Meghan Trainor Goes Retro On Debut ‘Title’

January 14th, 2015 2:15pm EST
Meghan Trainor- Epic
Four words – “All About That Bass.” The song was ubiquitous, so much so that it remained number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. After garnering so much success from one song as a newbie, the question geared toward pop singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor was, can she deliver more hits? The answer is three words – “Lips Are Movin.” On her full-length debut Title, more often than not, Trainor checks off the boxes delivering a fun, svelte, retro pop/soul effort.

On opening interlude “The Best Part (Interlude),” Trainor sets the tone of aiming for a vintage sound, layered with ...

Review: Rae Sremmurd Goes Stupid On ‘SremmLife’

January 12th, 2015 7:19pm EST
Rae Srummurd - SreammLife
Just when you didn’t think rap could get any shallower, it does. Over the years, the industry has had its share of a lack of intellect within rap – looking at you Soulja Boy. Once again, in 2015, southern rap duo Rae Sremmurd arrives with momentum behind a couple of hot singles with little to no transcendent meanings beyond them. Their debut SremmLife, like its hit singles, doesn’t look to reinvent the wheel or anything for that matter. There’s no mantra of “expect the unexpected” because SremmLife is pretty predictable and its formulaic moves are expected.

“Lit Like Bic” is devoid of...

Review: Charli XCX Is The Real Deal on ‘Sucker’

January 5th, 2015 2:15pm EST
Review: Charli XCX Is The Real Deal on ‘Sucker’
For many, listeners who’ve heard Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” were likely introduced to their first encounters with Charli XCX, the British pop/rock singer who delivered the memorable hook to the number one hit. Despite her status as a relative unknown, prior to “Fancy,” Charli XCX had already released a debut album, True Romance in 2013. Nonetheless, Charli’s sophomore album, Sucker serves as her notable introduction, particularly stateside. Throughout it’s course, Sucker proves she’s the real deal.

“Sucker” opens the effort energetically. Quite feisty, Charli exemplifies the unapologetic ...

Fabolous Hits A Homerun With 'The Young OG Project'

December 30th, 2014 8:00am EST
Review: Fabolous Hits A Homerun With 'The Young OG Project'
Sometimes, you just have to wait. As the old expression goes, “the best is yet to come.” For hip-hop music, that quote exemplifies the game in 2014. Some of the year’s strongest albums came late – efforts including Logic’s Under Pressure, Big K.R.I.T.’s Cadillactica, and J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive truly represent the elite. Fabolous’s 1990s-inspired LP, The Young OG Project joins the aforementioned as one of the best rap albums of 2014, dropping at the tail end on Christmas Day.

The Young OG Project opens with a bang with “Lituation” where Fabolous is on autopilot from the jump...

Why Nicki Minaj’s ‘The Pinkprint’ Is A Must Buy

December 26th, 2014 4:00pm EST
The Pinkprint
On December 15, 2014, The Pinkprint was unleashed to the world, and it was epic! Nicki Minaj released an album nothing short of her own Nicki Minaj-ness filled with a taste of everything – the refined, the raunchy, and the indescribable. To celebrate the ‘artistic’ gift that was bestowed upon the world prior to Christmas, here are seven reasons why The Pinkprint is a must buy.

1) The album opens ‘seriously’

Surprisingly, Minaj’s latest album doesn’t open with brash, unapologetic fare. Instead on opener “All Things Go,” Nicki is in serious, mature mode, incorporating more personal...

CD Review: The Relapse Symphony – “Shadows: The Acoustic Sessions” (Standby Records)

December 22nd, 2014 7:19pm EST
CD Review: The Relapse Symphony – “Shadows: The Acoustic Session
By unplugging the amps and tripping the breakers, The Relapse Symphony has accomplished a difficult task – they’ve managed to make their catchy debut Shadows even more infectious. On Shadows: The Acoustic Sessions, the resistance to singing along is futile (“Make Your Move,” “Walls”), plain and simple. And, as if you ever had any doubt, yes, vocalist Bret Von Dehl is this good. Perhaps the strongest part of Shadows: The Acoustic Sessions is that the move from electric to acoustic doesn’t cause all that much of a drop off in song quality or bite, which speaks to the sheer veracity of this co...

CD Review: Billy Talent – 'Hits' (The End Records)

December 22nd, 2014 7:17pm EST
CD Review: Billy Talent – 'Hits' (The End Records)
It’s hard to say anything negative about a compilation album that houses Billy Talent cuts like “Try Honesty,” “Rusted From The Rain” and “Viking Death March,” but by that same token, it’s hard to see the necessity of a greatest hits album after only a handful of studio releases. Regardless, that’s what we have with Billy Talent’s Hits, a collection of the best the Mississauga, Ontario, Canada quartet has to offer. From old school heavy hitters like “Nothing To Lose” and “Red Flag” to more contemporary offerings like “Surprise Surprise” and “Stand Up And Run,” Hits is arguably the best Bill...

CD Review: Drowning Pool – 'Sinner 13th Unlucky Anniversary Deluxe Edition' (Bicycle Music)

December 22nd, 2014 7:16pm EST
CD Review: Drowning Pool – 'Sinner 13th Unlucky Anniversary Delu
Given Drowning Pool’s revolving door of frontmen since his untimely and tragic passing, there’s something so comfortable about hearing the voice of Dave ‘Stage’ Williams again. Williams was a true showman in every sense of the world, and honestly, there’s no better way to revisit the bands seminal debut full length Sinner than with him leading the charge. From the unforgettable opening cavalcade of guitars of “Sinner,” the timeless hit single “Bodies” and the heartbreakingly endearing “Tear Away” to deeper cuts such as the Mike Luce-led “Mute”(seriously the albums best drum work), the seari...